§ Mr. Brotherton
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what are the activities of the Further Education Curriculum Unit; when it was started; to whom it is answerable; who are its members; how many civil servants are employed by it; and what is its cost to public funds.
§ Mr. Oakes
The further Education Curriculum Review and Development Unit is charged with reviewing the range of curricula offered by the further education service and identifying overlap, duplication or deficiencies; determining priorities for action to improve the total provision and suggesting ways in which improvement can be affected; assisting in the general development of further education curricula by carrying out specific studies, by helping with curricular experiments and by contributing to the evaluation of the attainment of objectives; and disseminating information on the process of curriculum development. In carrying out these tasks the unit is giving priority to curricula for the immediate post-school stages of education and in particular to work associated with the pilot schemes of unified vocational preparation and with the youth opportunities programme.
The work of the unit is under the direction and control of a board of management whose chairman, Mr. J. R. G. Tomlinson, was appointed by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Science. The members of the board, who were nominated by the major interests concerned and whose appointments by my right hon. Friend are for three years from 1st January 1977, are:
- Mr. J. H. Aldam (Association of County Councils)
- Mr. R. J. Hartles (Association of Metropolitan Authorities)
- Mr. R. C. Aldridge (Association of Principals of Colleges/Association of Colleges of Further and Higher Education)
- Mr. J. Mansell (National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education)
- Mr. J. Deboo (Confederation of British Industries)
- Mr. J. Morton(Trades Union Congress)
- Dr. R. Johnson (Training Services Agency)
- Mr. R. H. Bird (Department of Education and Science)
- Mr. E. J. Sidebottom, HMI (Department of Education and Science).
In addition there are observers from the Schools Council and the Northern Ireland Department of Education.
The unit does not directly employ staff. Its three professional and four support staff are employed by the Department of Education and Science on its behalf; a fourth professional member will be appointed shortly.
The administrative costs of the unit for 1977–78 are estimated at some £72,500; the research budget for that year is £20,000. These costs are met from public funds.